Well, we’re in a pickle. It’s not just a sports obsession anymore! Pickleball has taken over as the latest craze and it seems like everyone is playing this game – from seniors to school kids alike (especially those living in Florida). You know what they say: “If you don’t have anything else going on then make sure there are two teams competing against each other with different colors.”
Pickleball is a combination of sports: ping-pong, badminton, and tennis. It’s caught on in a big way, particularly in Florida where retirees seek to remain active. The sport of Pickleball experienced a surge in popularity over the past ten years in our area. Today over 2.5 million Americans play the game.
How about some history for such an oddly named sport? In 1965, three Bainbridge Island (Seattle), WA dads were in the backyard watching their sons play. The game was created out of boredom when both kids and dads thought it would be fun to invent a new sport. What would they name it? While the kids were hitting a whiffle ball, dad Barney McCallum’s cocker spaniel took chase to retrieve the ball. The name of the dog? Why, Pickles of course, thus the name Pickleball. Or, so we’ve been told!
It’s a fun story that created a sport with a good cardio workout. Pickleball may also improve agility which is great for maintaining balance to avoid falls and fractures. The game requires quick reactions, and balance skills as well as agility; all three things make it great for improving your health!
The downside is that Pickleball may result in frequent injuries. Most of these injuries are caused as with any other sport: lack of safety and inappropriate warm-up. Whether you’re a novice or skilled player, Pickleball can be rather dangerous if precautions aren’t observed. The most common injuries of Pickleball involve the ankle, heel, knee, hamstring, or shoulder. That’s where BPWC can help you maintain your health.
With frequent injuries as the norm for this sport, it’s important to know how to avoid getting hurt when playing your favorite game. Here are some tips from various experts on ways that will protect both yourself AND your teammates:
- Do not wear running shoes; opt for proper court shoes as in tennis.
- Wear protective gear like elbow pads; choose padding to cover most, if not all contact areas of your body where wounds typically occur.
- Avoid long pants that can trip you up; choose shorts or for the ladies, tennis skirt.
- Use protective eye-wear.
- Stay hydrated.
- Stretch and warm up for ten minutes prior to your game.
- Post play, do five minutes of walking to cool down.
- Know your limits.
If you’re feeling sore after your pickleball sessions on the court, try using ice packs to help alleviate discomfort – but don’t neglect seeking professional advice when injuries do occur. Serious injuries may require the attention of a pain management physician. BPWC is here for your needs.
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